June 5, 2011 Subject:
Davy Crockett was famous for hunting bears, killing Indians, drinking whiskey, riding rapids and was 'King of the Wild Frontier' in a buckskin jersey and coonskin cap. I only vaguely knew about him from the Disney film, and so after reading this excellent review (by Pulitzer winning critic Henry Allen), of the book David Crockett: The Lion of the West (2011), I went straight to the primary source, his autobiography, to hear Crockett in his own voice. Crockett "spoke the American language, funny and sly in the frontier style that would later make Mark Twain famous." He writes with a sort of genius for telling tales in the vernacular, and was supposedly irresistible in person. "He invented a kind of American manhood, too, one that depends on believing it can always survive walking alone down whatever mean streets—can pack up and head West as a last resort, like Huck Finn lighting out "for the Territory" or Jack Kerouac fleeing nothing and everything by heading west in "On the Road."